SOHO, the property discovery and management app that is building an online property network, has raised S$$1.71 million (US$1.3 million) to accelerate product development and more than double the team at their Singapore headquarters.
The real estate startup, which launched in September last year, received investment led by Australia-based fund Bridgelane Capital, bringing the total raised by the startup to S$2.75 million (US$2.09 million).
Soho previously raised S$1 million (US$758,869) capital in May 2017 from investors, including the Hub Ventures Fund, an early-stage investment company launched by Impact Hub Singapore.
It had not planned to raise additional funds until the second half of 2018 but attracted the attention of investors following its launch five months ago.
The funds will be used to accelerate team growth at the company’s headquarters in Singapore, doubling the size of its software development team, who will have an enhanced focus on integrating Soho’s products with leading Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software used by the industry, with the aim of deepening its market penetration by making it easier to on-board property agents.
Soho is the brainchild of serial entrepreneur Jonathan Lui (pic), who was responsible for co-founding Australia’s Airtasker.com in 2012.
He said: “One of the biggest issues we’re hearing from agents in Singapore is that fees to list properties online are only getting more expensive.
“These are dramatically increasing every year and can cost thousands of dollars, but our view is that technology should be making things cheaper, not more expensive.”
The Singapore residential property market is worth approximately S$900 billion but these assets are essentially offline/uncontactable until they go through all the hurdles to become ‘on-the-market.’
Positioned as the ‘LinkedIn for Property,’ Soho solves this problem by providing a ‘digital door-knock’ and network to bring more properties online to be searched and discovered at any time by potential buyers and renters, whether or not they are currently ‘on-the-market’.
The startup now has presence in both Singapore and Australia and has seen more than 10,000 downloads since its launch, with over 5,000+ properties and listings added to the platform worth over S$3.5 billion.
Soho has also made headway with the property sector in both markets with major property agents in Singapore including many from ERA, Propnex and Huttons signing up to the service, along with major franchises from Ray White, McGrath and Harcourts in Australia.
Lui added: “We’re seeing solid support for Soho as it’s not only free to list, but also has capabilities well beyond just the transaction itself. Our view is that the classifieds pay-to-list business model will phase out over the next five years, and we will see significant changes to the online property searching experience.”